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Journalism: Truth or Dare? Hardcover – 27 Mar 2003

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (27 Mar. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192802747
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192802743
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 3 x 13.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 990,967 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Ian Hargreaves (born 1951 in Burnley - an industrial town in northern England) is a journalist turned academic/journalist. He started his newspaper career in Yorkshire (Keighley News and Bradford Telegraph & Argus), before moving to the Financial Times. There he worked for 15 years in a wide range of reporting and editing jobs: he was Deputy Editor of the FT in 1994, when he was asked to become Editor of the Independent, in succession to that paper's founding editor, Andreas Whittam-Smith. In between all of this, he took three years out to lead the BBC's journalism in the late 1980s. More recently, he edited the New Statesman, a political weekly, before moving out of full-time journalism. In the last decade he has run communications for BAA plc and for the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He has also enjoyed a close association with the Cardiff University School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies. In 2010, he took up a new chair at Cardiff as Professor of Digital Economy. Most of his published work is journalism for print, radio or television, but he has written a couple of books on journalism. His most recent publication (May 2011) was a review of intellectual property issues for the UK Government: Digital Opportunity. (

Product Description


"Hargreaves has written a timely and disturbing account of journalism in peril."--Martin Bell, The Times [London]

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Journalism entered the twenty-first century caught in a paradox of its own making. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Deaglan MacFarland on 24 Nov. 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is a book that will satisfy anyone interested in understanding what it is like to be a journalist, what society thinks of journalists and what demands are put on to the working journalist - but it is approached with academic traditions in mind. It is both intelligent and informative. The author has authority on the subject and has taken his time to allow the reader the knowlegde to grasp what journalism is about without it becoming too dry. Highly recommended, if a little short.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
'Journalism: Truth or Dare' ~ the Author lets you decide 27 Nov. 2003
By Michael Meanwell - Published on
Format: Hardcover
There's little dispute that journalism has played ~ and will continue to play ~ the primary role in our perception of world affairs and the world around us.
But, as Ian Hargreaves, author of 'Journalism: Truth or Dare', asks ~ is journalism the 'first draft of history' or has it become a form of entertainment obsessed with celebrity and trivia?
Whichever the case, 'Journalism: Truth or Dare' is a thought-provoking book which examines the big issues facing international journalism ~ everything from ethics, accountability and opinion to obscenity, libel and corporate interests.
The book considers journalism in all its guises, from the origins of the free press in England 300 years ago to today's global media empires, including iconic figures, like Rupert Murdoch, as well as movies depicting the media. It also discusses different journalistic practices in various countries and cultures.
Hargreaves makes many insightful comments about the profession and its impact on society, such as:
"News, which was once difficult and expensive to obtain, today surrounds us like the air we breathe. Much of it is literally ambient: displayed on computers, public billboards, trains, aircraft, and mobile phones. When once news had to be sought out in expensive and scarce news sheets, today it is ubiquitous and very largely free at the point of consumption. Satisfying news hunger no longer involves a twice daily diet of a morning newspaper and evening TV news bulletin: news comes in snack-form, to be grazed, and at every level of quality. Where once journalism's reach was confined by the time it took to haul bundles of newsprint from one end of a country to the other, now it is global, instantaneous, and interactive."
'Journalism: Truth or Dare' features chapters on:
* Children of the Revolution: journalism and the market
* Journalism and the idea of press freedom
* The Pen and the Sword: journalism and the state
* There's no business like show business: journalism as entertainment
* Who owns journalists?
* Journalism and public relations
* A cookie laced with arsenic: journalism and ethics
Hargreaves believes that the state of journalism today is of vital importance, not only to journalists, but to the general public as a whole ~ and he is right. He says: "Good journalism provides the information and opinion upon which successful democratic societies depend. Corrupt that and you corrupt everything. But, equally, let journalism ossify, or be economically undermined, and politics and public life will suffer."
This comment is typical of the author's approach. Part apologist, part condemner ~ it is difficult to determine his ultimate opinion on journalism today. He makes many valid points for and against its value in society, but to the end his own conclusions remain unclear. Maybe Hargreaves, like all good journalists, is simply reporting the facts without fear or favor, leaving it to the reader to decide.
All in all, 'Journalism: Truth or Dare' presents a considered, well-balanced appraisal of the industry of journalism, examining the major debates, concerns and future directions. It is an important book for our time and one that should be read by all deep-thinking people.
-- Michael Meanwell, author of the critically-acclaimed 'The Enterprising Writer' and 'Writers on Writing'. For more book reviews and prescriptive articles for writers, visit [...]
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